I read an interesting blog post about the author of the iPhone game Dabble. He estimates that he spent over $30k of effort on the game. But his sales were disappointing at best. There was a landslide of comments to his blog entry. I feel like I have learned a lot by reading them.
Selling is hard. Sometimes nothing you do will help, as the gold rush may have passed you by. The software and games market is often a saturated one. To win you must stand out from the crowd. You need to set your price points correctly to compete. Lower prices equals more sales, although maybe not more profit.
You might be able to generate sales by releasing a lite version of your application. In addition, a free trial can help sales if your game is good. You could release a free and paid version of your game at the same time. Something that hurts sales is having your game cracked and distributed for free by hackers.
Some parts of sales depend on user perception. If it takes too long to download an online game, users will balk. Other times your success depends on plain luck. You might be able to tip the scales in your favor by advertising. You can also employ frequent updates to keep your application fresh.
An entirely different way to make money is to give away the application, but make it ad supported. One thing that seems to not affect sales is reviews, positive or otherwise. You could also release your game for multiple platforms. Or you could create multiple variants of the same game.
There are only a select few that will makes millions on their games. The rest of us may not even break even. What is the goal of your game development? Do you want to have fun? If so, you may succeed with a little hard work. If you want to make a fortune, the odds are stacked against you.
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